Federalism is Alive and Well and Living in New York
New York State was reluctant to ratify the United States Constitution. New York‘s reluctance was, in no small measure, due to its unwillingness to cede its state sovereignty to a federal government, which, it feared, would take power away from the individual citizen as well as the state. Governor George Clinton of
New York was an anti-Federalist who stood in strong opposition to the ratification of the Constitution. After all, in New York we had a strong state government and had crafted a unique court system. Our law Chancellor was the brilliant Robert Livingston, who later swore in George Washington as President of the United States and our first Chief Judge was John Jay, who later was to become the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We felt no need to place our state into the hands of a federal government.